Adventures in Etymology: Chimerical



Chimera by *TsaoShin (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

Chimera by *TsaoShin (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Reason for Adventure

I discovered this charming word in Blameless by Gail Carriger I believe. Definitions/Origins

1. unreal; imaginary; visionary: a chimerical terrestrial paradise.
2.wildly fanciful; highly unrealistic: a chimerical plan
Origin: 1630–40; chimer(a) + -ical
Related forms:
chi·mer·ic, adjective
chi·mer·i·cal·ly, adverb
non·chi·mer·ic, adjective
non·chi·mer·i·cal, adjective
non·chi·mer·i·cal·ly, adverb
1. illusory, fantastic.
1. real.

chimerical. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved April 09, 2013, from website:

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

chimerical (adj.) 1630s, from chimera + -ical. Related: Chimeric (1650s).
chimera (n.) fabulous monster, late 14c., from Old French chimere or directly from Medieval Latin chimera, from Latin Chimaera, from Greekkhimaira, name of a mythical creature, slain by Bellerophon, with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail (supposedly personification of snow or winter); literally “year-old she-goat” (masc. khimaros), from kheima “winter season” (see hibernation). Figurative meaning “wild fantasy” first recorded 1580s in English (attested 13c. in French).
“Beestis clepid chymeres, that han a part of ech beest, and suche ben not, no but oonly in opynyoun”. [Wyclif, “Prologue”]
Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved April 9, 2013 from
Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved April 9, 2013 from

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